ForeverMissed
This website was created in loving memory and celebration of the lives of James Wayland (Jim) Smith and Mary Agnes Smith, beloved parents, grandparents, siblings and friends. Please enjoy the photos and remembrances and share a story, tribute or photo of your own.  

Those who were able gathered for an in-person memorial service at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, May 21st in Mithun Hall at Wayzata Community Church.  The service was live-streamed and recorded.  You may view the recording on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylvhYg24yF4

Gifts in memory of Jm and Mary Agnes may be made to Wayzata Community Church, 125 Wayzata Blvd East, Wayzata, MN 55391.

                    "Let us cross over the river and rest beneath the shade of the trees."
Posted by Virginia Rivenbark on May 21, 2021
Jim and Mary Agnes were severing in the Training Union of Forest Hills Baptist Church in Raleigh,NC. when I met them. Through the years they have always exhibited a great example of what it means to be a Christian husband and wife, parent, career person. neighbor, friend, and kind to each person encountered anywhere. 

I have many fond memories and pictures to remind me of how blessed I have been to know them and to be a friend and have the friendship returned.

Carla, thanks for sending the package of info about them and making it possible for me to join the memorial service today by live-stream. A beautiful service! They are physically absent from us now but they will always be in our hearts. My thoughts and prayers are for you, the "girls", and rest of the family. 
 
Much love to you,
"Aunt" Virginia
Posted by Ashleigh Kreider on May 21, 2021
I met Jim and Mary Agnes on one of my first visits to Wayzata Community Church. Every Sunday I sat right behind them at the traditional service on the east side of the Sanctuary. Mary Agnes convinced me to join the choir (as she could hear me singing the hymns behind her.) Jim and Mary Agnes were so warm and welcoming to me and it was always such a joy to chat with them after the worship services. I will truly miss seeing them at church and I am forever grateful that I was able to know them for a little while. A beautiful couple.
Posted by JANICE CLAYTON on May 21, 2021
We remember with great joy the lovely visit with Jim and Mary Agnes when they came to see us in San Antonio at least 20 years ago. Always gracious, always joyful, always caring--role models for us all. Many blessings to the family, Bert and Janice Clayton (Rev. and Mrs. Bert Clayton)
Posted by Jim Cada on May 20, 2021
Enjoyed working with Jim when we were head ushers. Loved talking about the South, he from Louisiana and my wife, Susanne, from Mississippi. Always loved chatting with he and Mary Agnes at WCC. A real gentleman and a beautiful couple. Sympathies to their family members.
Posted by Sally Sawyer on May 20, 2021
Carla - Thinking of you in this time of great loss. My heart goes out.
Sally
Posted by Linda Hoskins on May 20, 2021
Jim and I always enjoyed talking to Jim and Agnes at Carla's house concerts. They were always so welcoming and smiling. I am also grateful to them for bringing Carla into the world - a gift to us all! We are unable to attend their service but I will be holding a candle in my heart for the whole family. Blessings on all! 
Posted by Pam McPhee on May 18, 2021
I have such fond memories of visits to Minnesota, the trip to Louisiana, sharing the same birthday as Jim, flying kites...

One of my most treasured mementos is a card that is on the mantel in my home from you both that reads "We welcome you as part of the Smith clan". Such a small phrase that still means the world to me.

Thank you for your legacy of love.....
Posted by MerryLee Lerberg on May 18, 2021
It has been a joy to know and work with both Mary Agnes and Jim at church. Always a helping hand and smile from both. They made me feel welcome and needed in a large congregation with their friendly warm manner.
They were tireless workers for many years and I’m grateful to have served with them.
Their Spirit lives on. Prayers and Blessings to their family’s. Muggs
Posted by Mark Reed on May 17, 2021
When Karen and I joined WCC fourteen years ago, Jim and Mary Agnes were literally two of the first fellow parishioners we met. We were always touched by their obvious deep and abiding love for one another, their unwavering devotion to our church, and by the simple fact that we considered both of them what you might call true, old school Minnesotans: kind, gracious, warm and giving.
Posted by Harry Engel on May 16, 2021
My condolences to the family and friends of Mary Agnes and Jim Smith. I was one of their Caregivers for a good number of months while they lived in their home near Loretto and until, first Jim, then both of them, moved into Haven Homes. I found them to be very kind individuals and very close to each other. They never lost that wonderful Louisiana accent, either!
Harry Engel
Posted by PAT SHELL on May 15, 2021
I met Jim and MaryAgnes at the church rummage sale at Wayzata. They were such wonderful people and I took a liking to them immediately. I found out they lived near my home in Loretto, and as we were talking , Jim said he had too many raspberry bushes at his home that he were growing out of hand. We went to his home and dug up quite a few for the backyard of our home, and Jim advised us how to take care of them.

They were such interesting people, and my husband and I enjoyed talking with them as my husband works in produce, and Jim was extremely knowledgeable in that area.  We moved two years ago from Minnesota, but I was able to see them at the nursing home before we left. I knew it would probably be the last time. I think it is so appropriate that they passed together and admired them as a wonderful couple.
Posted by Barb Wieser on April 22, 2021
I had some lovely conversations with Jim and Mary Agnes. Jim and I especially loved talking about Louisiana, as he grew up very close to where my mom's family is from. They reminded me so much of my parents. It was a treat to be around them, and I am thankful I was able to share in their lives for a brief time. Such good people.
Posted by Becca Hirdler on April 8, 2021
Thinking of my grandparents, Jim and Mary Agnes, on their 66th wedding anniversary.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Virginia Rivenbark on May 21, 2021
Jim and Mary Agnes were severing in the Training Union of Forest Hills Baptist Church in Raleigh,NC. when I met them. Through the years they have always exhibited a great example of what it means to be a Christian husband and wife, parent, career person. neighbor, friend, and kind to each person encountered anywhere. 

I have many fond memories and pictures to remind me of how blessed I have been to know them and to be a friend and have the friendship returned.

Carla, thanks for sending the package of info about them and making it possible for me to join the memorial service today by live-stream. A beautiful service! They are physically absent from us now but they will always be in our hearts. My thoughts and prayers are for you, the "girls", and rest of the family. 
 
Much love to you,
"Aunt" Virginia
Posted by Ashleigh Kreider on May 21, 2021
I met Jim and Mary Agnes on one of my first visits to Wayzata Community Church. Every Sunday I sat right behind them at the traditional service on the east side of the Sanctuary. Mary Agnes convinced me to join the choir (as she could hear me singing the hymns behind her.) Jim and Mary Agnes were so warm and welcoming to me and it was always such a joy to chat with them after the worship services. I will truly miss seeing them at church and I am forever grateful that I was able to know them for a little while. A beautiful couple.
Posted by JANICE CLAYTON on May 21, 2021
We remember with great joy the lovely visit with Jim and Mary Agnes when they came to see us in San Antonio at least 20 years ago. Always gracious, always joyful, always caring--role models for us all. Many blessings to the family, Bert and Janice Clayton (Rev. and Mrs. Bert Clayton)
his Life
   Mary Agnes Smith & James Wayland (Jim) Smith
Mary Agnes and Jim Smith passed away peacefully on December 6, 2020 about 7 hours apart.  They died from Covid-19 which they contracted shortly before Thanksgiving. They were able to remain together at Haven Homes in Maple Plain, Minnesota where they received loving care during the last phase of their lives.  After over 65 years of marriage and a long and fulfilling life, it is a blessing they were able to make this final leg of their earthly journey together.

Mary Agnes was born on January 10, 1927 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi to Clara Dean and Carlos Rabby, the middle child of three.  Her family moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana when she was a child where she remained through college and until marrying Jim.  Jim was born on November 6, 1930 in Marion, Louisiana to Mary and J. Wayland Smith, the oldest child of four.  His parents moved with him as a toddler to Oak Grove, Louisiana and established the family’s dairy farm there.  Jim and Mary Agnes both attended Louisiana State University and met through the Sunday evening dinners “Miz Rabby” hosted for members of the Baptist Student Union.  They married in April 1955.  

After Jim completed his stint in the Army, they moved to Raleigh, North Carolina. Jim completed his PH.D. at North Carolina State University and their children, Carla and Paul, were both born there.  The family moved to Greenbelt, Maryland in 1961 where Dr. Smith worked as a Dairy Scientist for USDA until his first retirement in 1982.  Mary Agnes devoted her energies to home and family.  In 1983 Jim began a second federal government career working for USAID. They lived in New Delhi, India for two years while he traveled and consulted on agricultural projects in India and Pakistan.  They returned to the US in 1985 when he was offered the chairmanship of the Dairy Science Department, at LSU.  He retired from LSU in 1990 and they moved to Minnesota where Carla and Paul and their growing families were living in order to be near their granddaughters, Sarah, Caitlin and Rebecca Sawyer-Smith and Jessica Smith.  They renovated an old farmhouse and established their home on property adjoining Carla’s in Independence, Minnesota.  While Mary Agnes helped provide childcare for Carla's three young daughters, Jim resumed work with USAID and traveled back and forth to Poland and other countries providing agricultural consulting services and advice.

Jim and Mary Agnes were involved in church and community activities throughout their lives.  While in Greenbelt, Jim became involved in local community governance as a member and eventually the President of the board of the cooperative housing association, Greenbelt Homes Incorporated, that included most of the town.  He continued his involvement in local politics after his final retirement from USAID by running for and winning a seat on the Independence City Council and got involved with various city, regional and state commissions and organizations.  Jim and Mary Agnes were active members of Wayzata Community Church. He served on various boards and committees and as a head usher. She was involved in Thimble Bees, Red Hats and other women’s groups.  They both enjoyed Saturday Seekers and volunteering for the mammoth WCC Rummage Sale.  They were avid gardeners, cooks and do-it-yourselfers and greatly enjoyed their time doing home projects and hosting family and friends. They also enjoyed travel, including several cruises, driving trips south to see their family and friends and learning trips to England and Greece with groups from the church.

Jim and Mary Agnes were preceded in death by their parents and two siblings (Carlos Rabby Jr. and Sarah Rogers) and by their son Paul Smith who passed in 2016.   They are survived by their daughter Carla Smith, granddaughters Sarah Swanson, Caitlin Sawyer-Smith, Rebecca Hirdler (Brandon) and Jessica Kellogg (Chris), great granddaughter Iliana Kellogg, their siblings Roy (Carolyn) Smith, Patsy (Ophie) Breaux, Llewellyn “Bo” (Ruth) Rabby, brother-in-law Sam Rogers and nieces, nephews, cousins and other extended family members in Louisiana, Arkansas, Ohio and elsewhere.

A memorial service will be held at Wayzata Community Church at 1:00 p.m. on May 21, 2021 with the Reverend Lindy Purdy presiding.  A private family internment of ashes in the Wayzata Community Church Columbarium will take place following the service.
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Obituary published in Star Tribune Dec 13, 2020

Star Tribune article published Dec. 28, 2020 - "Together in life and death - Minnesota couples battle covid."

www.kare11.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/nursing-home-enlists-video-robot-so-families-can-get-past-lock-doors-to-visit

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Shared by Sarah Swanson on May 9, 2021
Grandma kept everything we ever wrote including this Mother’s Day poem I sent her in 7th grade. It’s so accurate. Love and miss her (and grandpa) so much.